stuck fermentation at 1.035!

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orangemen5

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i brewed up the northern brewer bourbon barrel porter extract w specialty grains.
1lb english choc malt
.5 lbs english dark crystal
.5 english black malt
2lb wheat dme
6.3 lbs dark lme
1oz chinook
.5 us golding
.5 us golding
danstar windsor ale yeast

i did a full boil w this recipe because i have a 15 gal pot. i usually start w 6.5 gallons of water and boil down to 5.5. do hop schedule. chill w immersion chiller to 68deg in 20min. areate wort very well pitch reydrated yeast. everything went well till my hydrometer reading read 1.084. it was supposed to be 1.065. i noticed my water volume was lower than 5 gallons.maybe had 4-4.5 gals. i must have messed up my starting boil volume so i added another half gallon of water to fermenter didnt recheck the reading because i figured it was diluted now. i figured its about 1.072 now which didnt bother me me being a little high. left it in primary for 5 weeks and checked reading it was at 1.035. fermented at 66 degrees ambient temp by the way. i know danstar doesnt attenuate well but imwondering how to get this down a little lower. is 5 weeks to late to do anything? can i pitch more yeast? i have a pack of us-05 but i know its a beast and dont want to dry it out? any recommendations. thanks
 

inhousebrew

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I've had this problem with liquid malt extract in the past. Especially the dark stuff. I think you need to get that down a bit because 1.035 is pretty freaking high even for a nice chewy dark porter like this one. You could try the US-05. At that point I'd rather risk drying it out than having to drink something resembling molasses.
 
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orangemen5

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I was thinking of using maybe half a packet of us-05. Just to drop it a few points. But the flat sample didnt taste to bad. Once carbonated it might be thick and sweet though.
 

CBMbrewer

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I'd try moving to a warmer location if you can, maybe 69F. Give it a few days then check your gravity every day for a few days. You could also try rousing the yeast with a sanitized siphon. I try that before re pitching. I do think that will come out way too sweet though.
 
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orangemen5

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I thought about rousing the yeast and warming it up. It's been five weeks not sure if the yeast are dormant and won't reactivate. It had a pretty vigorous fermentation for about 4 days
 

CBMbrewer

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Your og may have been high enough for that time to have worn out your yeast but I have had high og beers get stuck then finish after sitting for a few weeks then transferred to a warmer place. This has worked well for carbing some batches that were taking a while too. I'd say its worth a shot. But hey, 05 isn't exactly expensive :)
 

jkendal

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Rousing the yeast every day will help it drop, too. Just swirl the fermenter to get the yeast back in suspension. Adding more yeast will help (many people keep a packet of Nottingham on hand for this very reason). Raising the temp will help.
 

jkendal

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Did you make a yeast starter? If not, that could have been the reason it stalled. Pitching an adequate amount of healthy yeast is vital to beers with a high OG.
 
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orangemen5

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It was dry yeast that came with the kit. Rehydrated it
 

jkendal

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It was dry yeast that came with the kit. Rehydrated it
Try these things in this order...

Rouse the yeast and take another gravity reading tomorrow morning. If it's dropping then do it some more.

If no change in gravity, try moving it to a warmer spot and take gravity reading the next morning.

If still no change, add another packet of yeast.

If it still hasn't changed after all that, best I can tell you is to bottle/keg it. It will be a bit on the sweeter side but it won't be ruined. And then the next time you brew a high OG beer like this one, pitch more yeast. I usually use 2 packets if I'm brewing anything over 1.060.
 

QuaffableQuips

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Try these things in this order...

Rouse the yeast and take another gravity reading tomorrow morning. If it's dropping then do it some more.

If no change in gravity, try moving it to a warmer spot and take gravity reading the next morning.

If still no change, add another packet of yeast.

If it still hasn't changed after all that, best I can tell you is to bottle/keg it. It will be a bit on the sweeter side but it won't be ruined. And then the next time you brew a high OG beer like this one, pitch more yeast. I usually use 2 packets if I'm brewing anything over 1.060.
And if none of those work, you could always add some Brettanomyces to dry it out and funk it up. A little bit of that wild Brett character might work really well in a bourbon barrel porter. I had an extract imperial stout get stuck at 1.030 a couple of years back, and a little Brett B plus a month or two of waiting got it down to 1.015 or so.
 
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orangemen5

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Thanks. I'll try these techniques and see what happens
 
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orangemen5

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So I tried rousing the yeast a few times and warming it to 70 the past 2 days and the fg didn't lower. Maybe a point or 2. I'm wondering if I repitching some yeast if I should use a full pack or half pack? Will repitching lower it to much and dry it out
 
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orangemen5

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So I tried rousing the yeast and warming it up. It drop a point or 2 over the course of a week. I ended up racking on a us05 yeast cake instead of repitching fresh yeast but that doesn't seem to be working either. Is there any risk of bottle bombs with a fg that high even if it's stable for a few weeks
 
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